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Transfiguration of the Lord - Orthodox Christian

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Time: 
Sun, 06/08/2017 - 00:15 - 23:45
Location: 
EVERYWHERE.

 6th August 

Transfiguration of the Lord - Orthodox Christian 

Commemoration of the experience on Mt Tabor when Jesus' physical appearance became brilliant as his connection with traditional Jewish holy figures became evident to the disciples. 

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The Transfiguration of Jesus is an episode in the New Testament narrative in which Jesus is transfigured (or metamorphosed) and becomes radiant in glory upon a mountain.  The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28–36) describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16–18 refers to it. 

In these accounts, Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James and John, go to a mountain (the Mount of Transfiguration).  On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light.  Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them.  Jesus is then called “Son” by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father, as in the Baptism of Jesus. 

The Transfiguration is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels.  This miracle is unique among others that appear in the Canonical gospels, in that the miracle happens to Jesus himself.  Thomas Aquinas considered the Transfiguration “the greatest miracle” in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection of life in Heaven.  The Transfiguration is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being Baptism, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension.  In 2002, Pope John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries in the Rosary, which includes the Transfiguration. 

In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth. 

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Just as Elijah and Moses begin to depart from the scene, Peter begins to ask Jesus if the disciples should make three tents for him and the two prophets.  This has been interpreted as Peter's attempt to keep the prophets there longer.  But before Peter can finish, a bright cloud appears, and a voice from the cloud states: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him”.  The disciples then fall to the ground in fear, but Jesus approaches and touches them, telling them not to be afraid.  When the disciples look up, they no longer see Elijah or Moses. 

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One of the generalizations of Christian belief has been that the Eastern Church emphasizes the Transfiguration while the Western Church focuses on the Crucifixion – however, in practice both branches continue to attach significance to both events, although specific nuances continue to persist.  An example of such a nuance is the saintly signs of the Imitation of Christ.  Unlike Catholic saints such as Padre Pio or Francis (who considered stigmata a sign of the imitation of Christ) Eastern Orthodox saints have never reported stigmata, but saints such as Seraphim and Silouan have reported being transfigured by an inward light of grace. 

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The real presence of Moses and Elijah on the mount is rejected by those churches and individuals who believe in “soul sleep” (Christian mortalism) until resurrection.  Several commentators have noted that Jesus describes the transfiguration using the Greek word orama (Matthew 17:9), according to Thayer more often used for a supernatural “vision” than for real physical events, and concluded that Moses and Elijah were not truly there.[41 

For more SEE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfiguration_of_Jesus  

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